Federal funds could be used to rid Jackson Co. of eyesore homes

Federal funds could be used to rid Jackson Co. of eyesore homes
arlow is busy compiling a list of eyesores damaged so much there's no way it can be brought up to code. (Photo source: WLOX)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Relief may be on the horizon for neighborhoods in Jackson County with abandoned and dilapidated homes on their block.

"Here you can see this is atypical of kind of what's going on in the county. Most of what we see is what's left from Hurricane Katrina," said Jackson County code enforcement officer Jeff Barlow.

Barlow is busy compiling a list of eyesores damaged so much there's no way it can be brought up to code.

"People are tired of looking at these things. You come out in the morning, the first thing you see is this dilapidated home that's only getting worse every day," Barlow said.

The process to demolish them has been long and costly for the county. Now, a federal program could give the county the funds needed to make these ugly sights disappear.

It's through the treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program and through the Mississippi Home Corp. The money should make its way to the coast.

"We have been told that each property will qualify up to $15,000 per property for clean up," Barlow said.

Getting rid of these eyesores will not only improve the appearance of neighborhoods and hopefully raise property values, but also save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"The county will be reimbursed for the demo cost, so everybody comes out a winner," said Barlow.

Barlow is now asking the public to contact his office about residential homes they see that need to be condemned. The calls are already pouring in.

Once that list is complete, they'll follow the legal process they have in place to condemn the homes and seek the board of supervisor's approval for each demolition.

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